Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Mac McClung repeats NBA Dunk Contest, Damian Lillard wins 3-point contest: Full highlights

INDIANAPOLIS — The names of the trophies in both of the NBA's major contests on All-Star Saturday night haven't changed from year to year.

G League journeyman Mac McClung, who stunned the world last February by winning the dunk contest in Salt Lake City, did it again in Indianapolis, leapfrogging Jaylen Brown over 7-foot-1 Shaquille O'Neal in the final round. A perfect 50 from the judges.

Earlier in the 3-point contest, Damian Lillard hit the last moneyball on his last rack to beat Trae Young for his second straight win in the event.

McClung, 25, who has played a total of four NBA games in his career, won the contest featuring a second G Leaguer — Jacob Toppin, brother of 2022 NBA dunk champion Obi Toppin. McClung outjumped two men, caught the ball as it rose to the rim, grabbed another one, put his high school jersey on Shaq's massive frame, leapt over him and completed a reverse slam. .

“Shaq was awesome to put on my high school jersey,” McClung said. “Man, it makes you emotional that he would do it. I told him, 'Okay, you put it on.' And he said, 'You better not miss a dunk.' I was like, 'Well, I won't miss it.'

Two current NBA players didn't fare so well in the dunk contest. Miami Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. was the first player to be ejected, while Brown, the Boston Celtics All-Star, booed after nearly every dunk in a clear sign fans felt his grades were too high for the dunks he was performing. , especially compared to McClung.

Brown, the first All-Star to participate in the dunk contest in years, put a Mickey Mouse-sized glove on his left hand, jumped through it to take a ball off someone's head, and “pressured” McClung with his final dunk. Glove and dunking it.

“Eventually (in this media era) some players are afraid to make it into a meme or anything like that,” Brown said. “I just wanted to come out and have fun with it, and that's what I did.”

McClung, who now plays for the Orlando Magic's G League affiliate, became the first back-to-back dunk winner since Zach LaVine in 2015 and 2016. Dunk contests.

“That's my story, and I embrace it,” McClung said.

Lillard became the 3-point champion since Jason Capono in 2007 and 2008, and joins Capono, Larry Bird, Craig Hodges, Mark Price, Jeff Hornacek and Beja Stojakovic as consecutive 3-pointers.

He beat Young and 2022 NBA 3-point winner Karl-Anthony Towns in the finals and persevered through a four-way tiebreaker in which the three finalists and Indiana's Tyrese Halliburton had to shoot for 30 seconds (normal rounds are 70 seconds). Get out of the first round.

Downes went first in the final and scored 22 runs. Young beat him with 24, and Lillard was stuck with his final rack of 24 down to the last shot.

“I knew, once I got to that three-pointer, a deep one, if I could knock these down and finally go into my bonus rack and give myself an advantage, I could win,” Lillard said. “So I knew I had a good chance.

“When I got to the final, I didn't know my exact score, but when I missed a couple, I could hear the crowd booing. Once they were doing it over and over again, I knew I was still alive because if it was over for me they would I knew they would have stopped. In the next two balls, I missed again and then I caught the next one and I knew I needed it to win.

In between the 3-point and dunk contests, there was a historic shootout between Stephen Curry and WNBA star Sabrina Ionescu, which Curry won. The annual All-Star Saturday was held on a brand new, forgiving, LED glass floor created by German company ASB GlassFloor, which was installed at Lucas Oil Football Stadium for All-Star Weekend. The floor changed colors, graphics and messages throughout the night.

The Pacers trio of Halliburton, Miles Turner and Benedict Maturin — the MVP for Friday night's Rising Stars game — won the annual skills challenge, winning individual rounds of the obstacle course, competition and shooting competition. Halliburton, who then lost the tiebreaker to enter the final round of the 3-point contest, drained a half-court shot in a skill challenge tiebreaker to knock it away for the Indiana Pacers.

“It's home cooking, keeping it down,” Turner said.

Required reading

(Photo: Stacey Revere/Getty Images)

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